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WAR NO. 3: US FIRES MISSILES INTO LIBYA
The News - War-Draft
March 20, 2011
More than 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck over 20 targets inside Libya today in the opening phase of an international military operation the Pentagon said was aimed at stopping attacks led by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and enforcing a U.N.-backed no-fly zone

President Obama, speaking from Brazil shortly after he authorized the missile attacks, said they were part of a "limited military action" to protect the Libyan people.

"I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it's not a choice I make lightly," Obama said. "But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy." [ ABC NEWS ]

 
'Supermoon' Lunacy: Does the Moon Make Us Crazy?
The News - Weird-Strange
March 20, 2011

With the so-called supermoon upon us, as our only natural satellite makes its largest appearance Saturday (March 19) in more than 18 years, should we expect any lunacy?

For centuries legend has held that full moons make people go crazy. Full moons have been linked in popular culture with a rise in suicides and even epileptic seizures, but there's little to no scientific evidence backing these ideas up.  However, the moon is a powerful body, its gravity tugging on our oceans to control tides, and its light thought to impact ancient animal behaviors, including the start of one of the largest sex events on Earth (the spawning of corals). Here's what we do know about the moon's effects, and non-effects, on you and the Earth.

 
Japan tsunami 'could be 1,000-year event'
The News - Natural Disasters
March 16, 2011
japan tsunami earthquake 1000- year event

Tsunamis on the scale that hit north-east Japan last week may strike the region about once every 1,000 years, a leading seismologist has said.

Dr Roger Musson said there were similarities between the last week's event and another giant wave that hit the Sendai coast in 869AD.

It is not unusual for undersea earthquakes to generate tsunamis in this part of Japan. Offshore quakes in the 19th and 20th centuries also caused large walls of water to hit this area of coastline. But previous research by a Japanese team shows that in the 869 "Jogan" disaster, tsunami waters moved some 4km inland, causing widespread flooding.

The researchers said that such gigantic tsunamis occur in the area roughly once every 1,000 years. Dr Musson, who is the head of seismic hazard at the British Geological Survey (BGS), suggested the latest tsunami was comparable to the event in 869. [ BBC NEWS ]

 
Meltdown alert at Japan reactor
The News - Current Events
March 14, 2011
nuke reactor meltdown japan earthquake tsunami

Technicians are battling to stabilise a third reactor at a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant that has been rocked by a second blast in three days.

Sea water is being pumped into reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant after its fuel rods were fully exposed twice.

International nuclear watchdogs said there was no sign of a meltdown but one minister said a melting of rods was "highly likely" to be happening.

The crisis was sparked by Friday's 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami.

Thousands of people are believed to have died, and millions are spending a fourth night without water, food, electricity or gas. More than 500,000 people have been left homeless. [ BBC NEWS ]

 
Scientists warn nation faces SECOND monster quake and tsunami
The News - Natural Disasters
March 14, 2011
2000 bodies wash ashore earthquake japan tsunami
  • Second 'monster' quake could measure almost 8 on the Richter scale
  • Terrible tide of at least 2,000 bodies wash up on the coastline
  • Crews fight to bring reactor at nuclear power plant under control
  • Millions left without food and power and hospitals have no medicine

Devastated Japan today faced the prospect of a second massive earthquake and tsunami even as millions of citizen struggled to come to terms with its biggest-ever natural disaster.

On Friday, a quake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale caused widespread fatalities and damage, also triggering a huge wave, which prompted the death toll to spiral into many thousands.

At least 2,000 bodies have now washed up on the country's decimated coastline, crematoriums were overflowing with the dead and rescue workers ran out of body bags as the nation faced the reality of its mounting crisis.  [ DAILY MAIL UK ]

 
Monster aftershock could strike within days
The News - Natural Disasters
March 14, 2011
monster aftershock japan earthquake prediction

NORTH-EASTERN Japan can expect another monster earthquake large enough to trigger a tsunami within days, the head of the Australian Seismological Centre says.

The director, Kevin McCue, said there had been more than 100 smaller quakes since Friday, but a larger aftershock was likely.

''Normally they happen within days,'' he said. ''The rule of thumb is that you would expect the main aftershock to be one magnitude smaller than the main shock, so you would be expecting a 7.9.

''That's a monster again in its own right that is capable of producing a tsunami and more damage.''

The Japanese quake was the result of a process called thrust faulting. A piece of the Earth's crust broke away at the juncture of the Eurasian and Pacific plates and was thrust underneath the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. The US Geological Survey estimated the quake moved the Japanese coast about 2.4 metres.

Japanese volcano erupts

A volcano in southwestern Japan erupted Sunday after nearly two weeks of relative silence, sending ash and rocks up to four kilometres (two and a half miles) into the air, a local official says.

It was not immediately clear if the eruption was a direct result of the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern areas Friday, unleashing a fierce tsunami and sparking fears that more than 10,000 may have been killed.   [ TIMES LIVE

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami overview

  •  42 survivors have been pulled out of the rubble
  • Official death toll hits 1,597, but many hundreds believed to be buried under rubble or washed away by waves
  • Toll will soar after around 2,000 bodies were found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture
  • Second explosion at nuclear power plant
  • Number of people contaminated with radiation could reach 160
  • Region hit by hundreds of aftershocks, some up to 6.8-magnitude
  • Rescue operation begins but some areas still cut off by road damage and flood waters
  • 70,000 people evacuated to shelters in Sendai
 
Amazing Video - Tsunami as it reaches Kamaishi coast After Earthquake
The News - Natural Disasters
March 13, 2011
 
'Supermoon' did not cause Japanese earthquake and tsunami
The News - Science-Astronomy
March 13, 2011
supermoon earthquake tsunami japan disaster

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan early Friday were "completely unrelated" to the approaching "supermoon," despite a news report that tied the earthquake to the upcoming lunar event, according to U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist John Bellini.

The supermoon will occur on March 19, when the moon is at or near its point of closest orbit - lunar perigee - and is also full. As we explained in our previous coverage of the upcoming supermoon, seismologists have found no evidence to believe that lunar perigees heighten seismic activity.

The best evidence that this earthquake was not caused by a supermoon is that it happened now - exactly a week away from the date the moon will be full, and almost a week after it was new, the two times that the moon exerts its greatest pull on the planet. A very small correlation exists between full or new moons and seismic activity, because the stronger-than-usual tidal forces caused by the alignment of the sun and moon puts added stress on tectonic plates... But this quake happened with the sun and moon askew - the time when tidal forces are weakest. Putting aside the fact that the moon doesn't trigger massive earthquakes, blaming this quake on the supermoon is like trying to pin a house fire on an arsonist who is out of town at the time of the crime.

 
Japan crisis 'worst since WWII'
The News - Current Events
March 13, 2011
japan crisis earthquake tsunami worst since ww2

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis.

He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at a reactor. Japanese broadcaster NHK says the total number of confirmed deaths caused by the disaster now stands at 1,351. But police warn that the death toll in Miyagi region alone could top 10,000.

Millions of survivors remain without electricity and authorities are stepping up relief efforts as the scale of the tragedy becomes clearer. About 310,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters, NHK says.

 
Lost city of Atlantis, swamped by tsunami, may be found
The News - Current Events
March 13, 2011
lost city of atlantis
A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.

"This is the power of tsunamis," head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.

"It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about," said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.

To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis. The team of archeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology to survey the site. Freund's discovery in central Spain of a strange series of "memorial cities," built in Atlantis' image by its refugees after the city's likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.

Atlantis residents who did not perish in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added. The team's findings will be unveiled on Sunday in "Finding Atlantis," a new National Geographic Channel special.

 
Japan quake: Toll may cross 10,000 in Miyagi alone
The News - Natural Disasters
March 13, 2011
japan death toll 10000 earthquake tsunami
The toll from a magnitude-8.9 earthquake in Japan could exceed 10,000 in the hardest-hit prefecture of Miyagi alone, police said on Sunday, as other officials tried to reassure the public that reactors at two damaged nuclear power plants posed no immediate danger.

"I have no doubt" that the death toll would rise above 10,000 in the prefecture, public broadcaster NHK quoted police chief Takeuchi Naoto as saying.

About 800 deaths had been confirmed so far in Miyagi and other areas in northeastern Japan, which were hit Friday by the quake and a tsunami. No contact could be established with about 10,000 residents of the town of Minamisanriku.

Police said earlier that more than 2,000 people had been killed or were unaccounted for in the affected regions, the Kyodo News agency reported.

A municipal official in Futaba town in Fukushima prefecture told Kyodo that about 90 percent of the houses in three coastal communities had been washed away by the tsunami. [ INDIA TIMES ]
 
Victims top 2,000 in Japan earthquake/tsunami
The News - Natural Disasters
March 13, 2011
death toll 2000 japan earthquake tsunami

Japan continued to grapple Sunday with widespread damage from its biggest recorded earthquake and massive tsunami that hit northeastern and eastern regions two days ago, with the number of reported victims topping 2,000 and a crisis escalating at two nuclear plants.

The magnitude for the devastating quake was revised upward the same day from 8.8 to 9.0, one of the largest recorded in the world, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The number of people who had died or remained unaccounted for exceeded 2,000, police said, while the official death toll neared 800. In Fukushima Prefecture alone, 1,167 were unaccounted for and well over 600 corpses had been found in both Iwate and Miyagi prefectures on the Pacific coast.

Local governments have been unable to contact tens of thousands of people, and at least 20,820 buildings have been fully or partially damaged in quake-hit areas, according to local officials and a tally by the national governments. [ KYODO NEWS ]

Another reactor at Fukushima nuke plant loses cooling functions

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday another reactor of its quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plants had lost its cooling functions, while at least 15 people at a nearby hospital were found to have been exposed to radioactivity.

The utility supplier notified the government early Sunday morning that the No. 3 reactor at the No. 1 Fukushima plant had lost the ability to cool the reactor core. The reactor is now in the process of releasing radioactive steam, according to top government spokesman Yukio Edano.

It was the sixth reactor overall at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to undergo cooling failure since the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan on Friday. [ LINK ]

US experts fear 'Chernobyl-like' crisis for Japan

US nuclear experts warned Saturday that pumping sea water to cool a quake-hit Japanese nuclear reactor was an "act of desperation" that may foreshadow a Chernobyl-like disaster.

Several experts, in a conference call with reporters, also predicted that regardless of the outcome at the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant crisis, the accident will seriously damage the nuclear power renaissance.

"The situation has become desperate enough that they apparently don't have the capability to deliver fresh water or plain water to cool the reactor and stabilize it, and now, in an act of desperation, are having to resort to diverting and using sea water," said Robert Alvarez, who works on nuclear disarmament at the Institute for Policy Studies. [ CHANNEL NEWS ASIA ]

 
Nuclear Plant explodes in Japan - Damage from mega quake increasing
The News - Current Events
March 12, 2011
nuke plant explodes japan

A massive explosion has rocked a Japanese nuclear power plant after Friday's devastating earthquake.

A huge pall of smoke was seen coming from the plant at Fukushima and several workers were injured. Japanese officials say the container housing the reactor was not damaged and that radiation levels have now fallen.

A huge relief operation is under way after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which is thought to have killed at least 1,000 people.

The offshore earthquake triggered a tsunami which wreaked havoc on Japan's north-east coast, sweeping far inland and devastating a number of towns and villages. [ BBC NEWS ]

Damage from mega quake increasing, death toll feared to top 1,700

Damage caused by Friday's catastrophic earthquake in Japan expanded Saturday, with the combined number of people who have died or are unaccounted for is feared to top 1,700, while an explosion occurred at the nuclear reactor building of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and injured four workers.

The four are conscious and their injuries are not life-threatening, according to the electricity firm, while the Fire and Disaster Management Agency dispatched the Hyper Rescue squad from Tokyo to bring equipment to cool down the nuclear plant facilities.

Radioactive materials -- cesium and iodine -- were also detected around the No. 1 reactor of the plant, according to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. [ KYODO NEWS ]

Nearly 10,000 missing in Miyagi prefecture

Northeast Japan was a wasteland Saturday morning after the country's strongest earthquake on record triggered a 30-foot tsunami. The cascade of destruction killed hundreds, forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and raised fears about radioactive released from damaged nuclear power reactors.

Sendai, a city of one million people, was among the hardest-hit areas of the nation. An aerial tour by helicopter Saturday morning near the local airport showed a dead zone of small planes, helicopters and cars strewn half-submerged in green-brown water.

Along the coast north of the airport, oil-storage tanks burned brightly, sending a funnel of pitch-black smoke nearly a mile into the sky. Fires burned in industrial parks ringing the area, nearly 24 hours after Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake, one of the world's five strongest over the past century, ground life across the country to a halt. [ WSJ ]

 nearly 10,000 missing Miyagi prefecture japan

 
Tsunami warning center raises magnitude of Japan earthquake to 9.1
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011
japan earthquake magnitude 9.1

Shaking, Smoke Seen at Japanese Nuclear Plant Facing Possible Meltdown

The walls of a building at nuclear power station crumbled Saturday as smoke poured out and Japanese officials said they feared the reactor could melt down following the failure of its cooling system in a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

It was not clear if the damaged building housed the reactor. An official said the utility that runs the Fukushima Daiichi plant was reporting that several workers may have been injured.
Fukushima Prefecture official Masato Abe said the cause of the rattling and smoke was unclear, declining to say whether an explosion had occurred. [ FOX NEWS ]

Blast, smoke at Fukushima No. 1 plant

Nuclear authorities had earlier warned that the Fukushima No 1 plant, located about 250km northeast of Tokyo, an urban area of 30 million people, might "be experiencing a nuclear meltdown".

The plant's cooling system was damaged in the quake that hit on Friday, leaving the government scrambling to fix the problem and evacuate more than 45,000 residents within a 10km radius.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that a blast had been heard at about 3.30pm local time and showed delayed footage of smoke billowing from the site, also reporting that the reactor building had been destroyed.

TV channels warned nearby residents to stay indoors, turn off air-conditioners and not to drink tap water. People going outside were also told to aviod exposing their skin and to cover their faces with masks and wet towels. [ HERALD SUN ]

The Japan earthquake was the fourth most powerful ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.1, twice more powerful than the initial estimate of 8.9, Gerard Fryer, geophysicist of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said this morning.

Three others that were more powerful since the late 1800s when seismometers started measuring ground motions were in 9.5 in Chile in 1960, 9.2 in Alaska in 1964 and 9.1 in Sumatra in 2004, according to Fryer.

The new magnitude was adjusted based on the impact of the quake  throughout the Pacific, he said.  "It fits all measurements, including in Hawaii," Fryer said. The U.S. Geological Survey estimate of the quake's magnitude is still 8.9.It is not uncommon for scientists to  estimate different magnitudes immediately after an earthquake. [ STAR ADVISER ]

whirlpool japan earthquake tsunami disaster

Latest Temblor An Interplate earthquake

The major earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on Friday had the hallmarks of an interplate quake, which occurs at the boundary between two tectonic plates.

At the area near the epicenter, the North American plate, on which part of the Japanese archipelago lies, slips under the Pacific plate. The temblor was likely triggered when the North American plate snapped upward, releasing the accumulated strain.

The earthquake occurred near the site of another tremor that shook Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday, so the earlier quake may have been a foreshock, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. [ NIKKEI ]

Radiation Levels Surge Outside Two Nuclear Plants in Japan

Japan declared states of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability in the aftermath of Friday's powerful earthquake. Thousands of residents were evacuated as workers struggled to get the reactors under control to prevent meltdowns.

Operators at the Fukushima Daiichi plant's Unit 1 scrambled ferociously to tamp down heat and pressure inside the reactor after the 8.9 magnitude quake and the tsunami that followed cut off electricity to the site and disabled emergency generators, knocking out the main cooling system.

An official with Japan's nuclear safety commission says that a meltdown at nuclear power plant affected by the country's massive earthquake is possible. [ FOXNEWS ]

Japan says meltdown possible at nuclear plant

An official with Japan's nuclear safety commission says that a meltdown at nuclear power plant affected by the country's massive earthquake is possible.

Ryohei Shiomi said Saturday that officials were checking whether a meltdown had taken place at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, which had lost cooling ability in the aftermath of Friday's powerful earthquake.

Shiomi said that even if there was a meltdown, it wouldn't affect humans within a six-mile (10-kilometer) radius. [ AJC.com ]

 
Hundreds killed, thousands missing in Japan tsunami - Nuclear reactor crisis
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011
2011 japan earthquake tsunami disaster

Thousands of people are reported missing after the biggest earthquake on record rattled north-eastern Japan, triggering a massive tsunami that swept away everything in its path.

Japan confronted devastation along its northeastern coast on Saturday, with fires raging and parts of some cities under water after a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed at least 1,000 people.

Daybreak was expected to reveal the full extent of the death and damage from Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and the 10-metre high tsunami it sent surging into cities and villages, sweeping away everything in its path.

In one of the worst-hit residential areas, people buried under rubble could be heard calling out "help" and "when are we going to be rescued", Kyodo news agency reported.

Japan may have hours to prevent nuclear meltdown

nuclear reactor 1000x radiation japan disaster

Japanese officials may only have hours to cool reactors that have been disabled by Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami or face a nuclear meltdown.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T) is racing to cool down the reactor core after a highly unusual "station blackout" -- the total loss of power necessary to keep water circulating through the plant to prevent overheating.

Daiichi Units 1, 2 and 3 reactors shut down automatically at 2:46 p.m. local time due to the earthquake. But about an hour later, the on-site diesel back-up generators also shut, leaving the reactors without alternating current (AC) power. [ REUTERS ]

Radiation 1,000 times higher than normal detected at nuke plant

The amount of radiation reached around 1,000 times the normal level Saturday in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.

The discovery suggests radioactive steam could spread around the facility operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. [ KYODO NEWS ]

 
Are earthquakes getting worse?
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rumbled through Japan today (March 11), triggering a devastating tsunami, was the strongest felt in that country since seismic monitoring was invented. It's also comparable in scale to a few other recent temblors, including last year's 8.8-magnitude quake in Chile and 2004's 9.1-magnitude undersea rupture off Indonesia that caused a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people.

But researchers say these catastrophes shouldn't be taken as evidence of a larger trend. According to the United States Geological Survey, the number of earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7 has remained constant in the last century. And the occurrence of a few big quakes in a few years is most likely a statistical anomaly. (The upcoming "supermoon," by the way, also did not cause the Japanese earthquake.)

"Statistics are way too small to say that this just couldn't happen randomly," Henry Pollack, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Michigan, told LiveScience.

However, increasing populations in earthquake-prone areas mean that smaller quakes can put more people at risk than in the past, researchers say.

 
"Hundreds of Bodies" found After Massive Tsunami and Earthquake
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011

Japan's quake toll set to exceed 1,000

A devastating tsunami triggered by the biggest earthquake on record in Japan looked set to kill at least 1,000 people along the northeastern coast on Friday after a wall of water swept away everything in its path.

The government warned there could be a small radiation leak from a nuclear reactor whose cooling system was knocked out by the quake. About 3,000 residents in the area some 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo had been moved out of harm's way. [ REUTERS ]

japan earthquake tsunami deathtoll hundreds dead

Japanese police say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in a northeastern coastal area where a massive earthquake spawned a ferocious tsunami Friday that swept away boats, cars and homes. 

The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake - the largest in Japan's history - unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. 

The bodies found were in Sendai city, the closest major city to the epicenter, Japanese police said. Earlier, police confirmed at least 60 people had been killed and 56 were missing. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of Friday's disaster.

Tsunami waves generated by the massive quake hit Hawaii early Friday morning. The first waves crashed into the island of Kauai at 3:13 a.m. local time. Officials predicted they would experience waves up to 6 feet (2 meters). See Also : Biggest Tsunamis in History

 first wave tsunami japan earthquake disaster 2011 march

Update : 88,000 people missing after Japan earthquake and Tsunami?

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northeast Japan spawned a ferocious tsunami that's caused massive destruction; flattening whole cities, starting raging fires, and killing hundreds. Nearly 88,000 people are reported missing, according to the official Kyodo news agency.

We found some videos that show the scope of the disaster, and you can also see The Atlantic's collection of photos of the quake.

Footage of the tsunami quickly enveloping the city of Sendai, Japan. Officials say 200 to 300 bodies have been found in the city. [ KHQ.com ]

 
Update : Japan Earthquake and Tsunami - 60+ dead
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011
big earthquake tsunami japan disaster 2011 march

The biggest earthquake on record to hit Japan struck the northeast coast on Friday, triggering a 30 foot tsunami that swept away everything in its path, including houses, ships, cars and farm buildings.

The Red Cross in Geneva said the wall of water was higher than some Pacific islands and a tsunami warning was issued for almost the entire Pacific basin, though alerts were lifted for some countries in the region, including Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

At least 59 people had been killed in the quake and tsunami in Japan, broadcaster NHK said, adding that many were missing. The extent of the destruction along a lengthy stretch of Japan's coastline suggested the death toll could rise significantly.

The 8.9 magnitude quake, the most powerful since Japan started keeping records 140 years ago, caused many injuries and sparked fires while the tsunami prompted warnings to people to move to higher ground in coastal areas.

5th Largest Earthquake recorded since 1900

A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake rocked northeast Japan late this afternoon, setting a nuclear plant ablaze, unleashing a 10-metre tsunami that tossed ships inland and left at least 60 people dead.

Police said many others were injured in Tokyo and coastal areas of the main Honshu island, while television footage showed scenes of widespread devastation and flooding.

A monster wave hit near Sendai city where a tide of black water sent shipping containers, cars and debris crashing through streets and across open farmland destroying everything in its path.

The government said the tsunami and quake, which was felt as far away as Beijing 2,500 kilometres away, had caused "tremendous damage" while aerial footage showed massive flooding in northern towns. [ ABC.NET.AU ]

Tsunami hits Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

The first wave of the tsunami has passed through Midway Island with a more than 8-foot wave measured, the National Weather Service said about 1:25 a.m.Hawaii time.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said Midway recorded a 5.1-foot wave.

Eariler in the evening, coastal gauges at Wake Island and Saipan showed arriving wave heights of about 1.6 feet and 2.5 feet respectively, said Pacific Tsunami Warning Center geophysicist Gerard Fryer.

For Hawaii, that means, so far, "it looks like the largest waves, in Haleiwa and Hilo, will be about 2 meters (more than 6 feet)," Fryer said.

Fryer said scientists are actually analyzing two models -- one that shows waves of up to 2 meters and one showing half of that. [ STAR ADVISER ]

 
Tokyo feared earthquake might have been the "big one"
The News - Natural Disasters
March 11, 2011
tokya earthquake disaster 1923 big one

As the daylight faded, tens of thousands of stranded office workers wandered the streets of Tokyo, waited in long lines for packed buses, or, for a lucky few, sat in cabs stuck in slow-moving traffic. Others stood in lines in front of the few public phone booths that remain today in central Tokyo. In many cases, the lime green public phones were their only way to reach relatives since most mobile phone networks offered sporadic or no service for several hours after the quake struck.

Many pedestrians in downtown Tokyo gathered in front of buildings with window displays featuring flat-panel screens to watch live television broadcasts of the widespread damage. Employees of the Asahi newspaper, a major Japanese daily, stood on street corners in the Ginza handing out free copies of a four page special edition with a five inch headline that read: "Giant Earthquake In Eastern Japan."

But for a few minutes after the ground began to rattle, the concern burned into stoic Tokyoites' faces was much bigger: What if this was the "big one?" A major quake is often seen as overdue since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that left more than 100,000 dead in a flattened city.

 tokyo earthquake disaster big one prediction 1923

 
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